Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Students Demand New Vision for Schools from New Mayor




    They may be too young to cast a ballot, but some 300 Chicago school students on Monday did their part to urge adults to head to the polls and call voters' attention to education.

    Student leaders from Voices of Youth in Chicago Education -- VOYCE -- held a rally to call on the new mayor to work with students to set forth a new vision for Chicago Public Schools.

    "When I visit many of my friends who attend different schools, I get the opportunity of seeing the school they attend. In these visits, I can obviously see that when I compare the schools, there is definitely something wrong. I see some schools are clearly well-funded whereas some other schools might not be," said one student.

    Following the rally, the kids took their mission outside and walked through seven neighborhoods to remind residents of Tuesday's election.

    VOYCE’s ultimate goal is to create youth-led, community-based solutions to Chicago’s dropout crisis, which has hovered at 50 percent, despite millions of dollars of reforms and repeated transitions in central office leadership.

    "We’re tired of reforms being done to us, not with us," said O’Sha Dancy, a freshman at Dyett High School and youth leader at the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.  "We know what works and what doesn’t work in our education. It’s time for CPS to invest in our solutions."